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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 12-03-11, 06:48 AM   #1
tg1896
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Should I rebuild a beater?

I've never done a rebuild. I only do my normal routine maintenance. I recently got a new (new to me -it's a steel frame rebuild with Dura Ace components) road bike to replace my late 80's Trek 550. I'm thinking about picking up some used Shimano parts to replace the Suntour derailleur (6-speed cassette) and Dia-Compe brakes. i already replaced the chainring with a compact double. My questions -

1. Should I do it? It would mainly be for fun(?). I don't really need another bike.
2. If I replace the cassette can I fit a 9-speed on there?
3. How big a hassle would it be to replace downtube shifters with brake lever shifters?
4. What else should I consider?
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Old 12-03-11, 07:27 AM   #2
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Tim, If the bike is a good fit, I see no reason not to rebuild. This will provide you with a spare bike if needed along with providing a teaching tool.

Brad

PS If the frame is rear spaced at 126 mm, installing a 130 mm hub is fine. If the bike has DT bosses to hold the shifters, rather than a clamp-on boss, swapping to integrated shifters is doable.

Last edited by bradtx; 12-03-11 at 07:30 AM. Reason: ps
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Old 12-03-11, 07:51 AM   #3
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1. It's your money and your choice. That said, every rider always needs another bike.
2. Almost certainly not. 6-speed freehub bodies were different from later designs and 7-speed freehub bodies are narrower than 8/9/10-speed bodies. Your best bet is a new rear wheel.
3. Assuming your bike has braze on downtube shifter bosses, the mechanics of the change are very straightforward. Even if you need a band-on downtube cable housing stop it's not that difficult. The big factor will be the cost.
4. Other problems or solutions will be handled as you go along with the project.
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Old 12-03-11, 09:27 AM   #4
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Yup - it's already too late for you. By the very fact that you asked you've already got the disease.

There's no known cure so you might as well just go with it. I like to dream up special purposes, like a rain bike for instance, then cherry pick the components to match that use.

Welcome to the club.
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Old 12-03-11, 12:34 PM   #5
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Is a fixed up beater what you want? Go window shop a few bike stores and then think about it for a week. You can always go back for a second look before you decide on getting yourself a present. It is the holiday time of year. bk
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Old 12-03-11, 02:26 PM   #6
wrk101
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1. Its very likely a six speed freewheel, and not a cassette. Totally different technology.

2. So no, it is not as simple as buying a nine speed cassette. It is going to take a replacement wheel, designed to hold the cassette of your choice.

3. Replacing with modern shifters, wheels, etc., is no problem on a steel frame, but will be costly. Price out the integrated brake lever/shifters by themselves.

4. Main consideration? Cost. Secondary consideration, do you have the time/interest/tools/etc., to do it yourself. Its not that hard to upgrade a steel frame bike like that Trek.

I have done what you describe many times. The key? Finding a donor bike with the parts I desire, and doing a swap. Two of my current keeper bikes were upgraded in that fashion, as many others for friends or for the heck of it.

1992 Paramount Series 5: originally came with 7 speed DT Shimano 105 drivetrain. Now sports mostly Ultegra, with Shimano 600 8 speed STI, 8/9/10 speed 105 wheelset.




1987 Schwinn Prologue: Originally came with Shimano 600 DT shifters, 7 speed drivetrain. Now mostly Dura Ace 9 speed drivetrain.

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Old 12-03-11, 08:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tg1896 View Post
4. What else should I consider?
you should consider converting it to a track bike or fixie!!! Isn't there a velodrome in the big ATL?
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Old 12-03-11, 09:10 PM   #8
Don in Austin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tg1896 View Post
I've never done a rebuild. I only do my normal routine maintenance. I recently got a new (new to me -it's a steel frame rebuild with Dura Ace components) road bike to replace my late 80's Trek 550. I'm thinking about picking up some used Shimano parts to replace the Suntour derailleur (6-speed cassette) and Dia-Compe brakes. i already replaced the chainring with a compact double. My questions -

1. Should I do it? It would mainly be for fun(?). I don't really need another bike.
2. If I replace the cassette can I fit a 9-speed on there?
3. How big a hassle would it be to replace downtube shifters with brake lever shifters?
4. What else should I consider?
You should consider the replies "Don't do it. It would be more cost effective to buy a used bike on CL" to be irrelevant to your situation. You already said it would be fun, so you have answered your own question. If you are mechanically inclined, its very rewarding to refurbish or upgrade your bike -- much more so than simply replacing it.

Don in Austin
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